10 Things You Need To Know About The ACMPR
The Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR) defines the rules under which cannabis can be grown, sold or purchased in Canada. Like most government regulations, they are not very simple to understand. We’ve been writing business plans for people and organizations applying for their producers’ license for over four years, so we have a very good understanding of the rules and regulations around cannabis. Here’s the top 10 things you need to know about the ACMPR before getting involved with cannabis.
- ACMPR replaced MMPR (Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations) on August 24, 2016.
- What’s the main difference between the MMPR and the ACMPR?
- The ACMPR allows licensed producers to grow and sell marijuana (cannabis) seeds and plants to individuals that have registered with Health Canada, so that they can actually grow medical cannabis for their own use. Under the MMPR, registered individuals had to buy their seeds from Health Canada.
- (Commercial) licensed producers can produce and sell cannabis oil.
- What are some of the other differences between the MMPR and the ACMPR?
- New labelling requirements for both dried cannabis and cannabis oil, so that the medical consumer knows the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) content of the product, and the type of carrier oil used.
- Analytical testing must be done using properly validated methods, and cannabis oil capsules must be tested by disintegrated testing.
- The Minister of Health must be notified before a product recall.
- Weights and volumes declared on packaging must now be between 95% and 105%, where the accuracy used to be between 95% and 101%, leading to fewer patients being “short-changed.”
- What difference does the ACMPR make to someone that needs cannabis for medical purposes and who has an authorization from their appropriately qualified health-care practitioner? They can now get cannabis in three different ways:
- They can register with a licensed producer.
- They can register with Health Canada to grow a small amount of cannabis for their personal use.
- They can designate someone else to grow their own medical cannabis.
- The ACMPR has two main components. Firstly, it explains how to legally grow marijuana (cannabis) for your own personal use or how to designate someone to grow cannabis for your own personal use. In effect, it replaces the MMAR (Marihuana Medical Access Regulations). We can’t help you here. Check out Health Canada’s web page shown in the section above.
- The second main component of the regulations explains the license application process for commercial production of marijuana (cannabis) by licensed producers. So, if you want to grow cannabis for sale, it tells you how you apply for a license and explains how to apply for and maintain a license to produce and distribute dried cannabis, fresh cannabis, cannabis plants, seeds and oils. These are generally known as a producers’ license or production license. These licenses are very difficult to obtain. As of September 1, 2017, there were only 58 licensed producers of cannabis in Canada. Close to 2,000 applications had been received and most of those have been rejected. There are only a few hundred in progress and only a handful have a very good chance of becoming a licensed producer.
- Although the ACMPR came into force in August 2016, in May 2017 Health Canada announced bigger news for businesses wanting to apply to become licensed producers. Health Canada changed the application process for becoming a licensed producer of cannabis. This is only applicable for commercial applications and it is designed to speed up the application process.
- Health Canada has improved the process for becoming a licensed producer under the ACMPR. However, the actual application requirements are still very extensive.
- You have to submit with the actual licence application form, a few hundred pages of documentation that demonstrate your standard operating procedures, quality assurance processes, and security protocols, etc. This documentation is not inexpensive. If you have quality consultants working for you, be prepared with a budget that could cost upwards of $100,000.
- And of course, you have to submit a business plan to pass the initial screening.
We are experts at preparing business plans for licensed producers and have written over forty plans without a single rejection. These cannabis business plans are not only an essential component of the Health Canada license application, they are also extremely valuable to you and your investors.
If you have any questions about the ACMPR, or want to know more information on how we can help prepare a business plan for you, contact us today for a free consultation.